Passion – and Mid-Career Changes

Passion – and Mid-Career Changes

In my role as a coach it is a special privilege to work with people, typically in mid-career, who have been highly successful in establishing and developing their professional standing in the private sector and who now are seeking ways to apply their skills in the development field. People in this situation typically find it […]

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Growing English Capability

Across the globe, international humanitarian organisations and non governmental organisations are increasingly expecting managers and leaders to be able to write, speak and negotiate in modern business English. In this article we share some valuable resources that are being used to grow these increasingly important capabilities. This post also recommends some questions that managers who […]

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Career Change To Make A Change

In the course of my work as a career and executive coach I have the pleasure of working with many people who have reached a point in their careers where they are re-evaluating the contribution that they make to society through the work they do. The way that clients express their aspiration varies considerably, as you […]

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Humans required

In our “Dying Professions” article, published 30 August 2018, we commented on the impact of automation on a variety of employment roles. In this complementary article we share the outcomes of Royal Bank of Canada research undertaken in 2017/18 and highlight some really useful conclusions RBC came to. Rather typically, for an advanced developed economy, […]

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Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership

Leadership books can be turgid, full of unsupported assertions, difficult to read and extremely dull. Too few really engage with the daily messiness of leading, the acute uncertainty many leaders experience or the fragile loyalty offered by  team members. It is a real pleasure, therefore, to recommend Dr Eve Poole’s creative and encouraging book “Leadersmithing: […]

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Producing Your Curriculum Vitae or Your Resume

Introduction Having a professional curriculum vitae or a resume, with a clean design and well-ordered relevant information, is essential. However, changes to the ways in which recruiters view these documents mean that almost every part of the former sentence is questionable! Actually, today, having just one CV or resume is not reasonable. If you have only one […]

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Building the Kingdom Through Business

Your Twitter feed, like mine possibly, is increasingly shaped by business driven themes. No doubt this is to be expected as many claim that businesses – rather more powerfully than any other institutions – shape the world today. Aware of this impact and the expectations of society, many business people are increasingly engaging with a […]

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Dying Professions

The OECD Employment Outlook 2019 found that: “The world of work is changing in response to technological progress, globalisation and ageing populations. In addition, new organisational business models and evolving worker preferences are contributing to the emergence of new forms of work. Despite widespread anxiety about potential job destruction driven by technological change and globalisation, […]

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Managing Two Careers At Once

Why do organisations manage their talent in ways that fail to take account of spousal careers? What happens as a result? What additional thinking and practices could assist organisations to manage talent located within a dual career relationship better? What do findings about what is valued in mid-life career counselling have to say to those […]

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Envisioning The Future

Writing in July’s TD Beverley Kaye and Linda Williams say, “Individuals need the encouragement, resources, tools, and support to envision their futures. They don’t need every possible new app or program, but they do need conversations with managers, coaches, or mentors. They need to take action, be open to learning, be willing to change behaviors, […]

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Performance Management Case Study 1

In recent years there has been much debate about performance review or annual appraisal processes. Some of the debate was influenced by changes in practice within large corporations. This is the first in a new series of case studies examining performance management. Our aim is to find out what really spurred change and what actually […]

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Who am I?

Changing career in mid-life becomes easier if you have done some work on your values and your passions. Doing so helps many people to understand and to talk about who they are. Regardless of your career to date, your future decisions about career will be easier and more valid if you have a clear understanding […]

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Mid-Life Career Change?

As people look back over their working lives it is not uncommon to find them asking questions about service, achievement and satisfaction. Some may be in positions where the opportunities for development through work are limited and they may increasingly identify with the view that there’s a considerable difference between twenty years of experience, and one year of experience relived twenty times! […]

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“Cubing” Career Goals

“Cubing” is a way of brainstorming outlined in the book “Writing”, by Gregory Cowan and Elizabeth Cowan (New York: Wiley, 1980). With cubing, as with other brainstorming methods, you start with one topic, challenge or issue. Then, you apply six points of view (like the six sides of a cube) to the issue. Here, we have […]

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A Career With Impact?

Impactpool is a unique career platform aiming to provide the best possible support to people who want to pursue a career within mission-driven organisations. Impactpool (previously UNjobfinder) was founded in 2015 and is a social enterprise with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Its founders were aware of the need for a qualified, customer oriented and user-friendly […]

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Learning with Kaya

Kaya is the online learning platform of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy. 50,000 people from nearly 200 countries across the world are using Kaya to learn about humanitarian issues and action. On Kaya you will find online elearning and in-person workshops that will help you learn what you need to take you where you want to go, […]

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Investing In Transitions

Any bar room discussion where the word “transition” recurs is likely to be focused on the UK’s transition period due to kick in as the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. There are other, and we would say, equally complicated and life determining transitions that need to be made. As a former global talent […]

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How To Find Work You Love

Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it. Why you should listen According to […]

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Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career

In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions. Why you should listen Larry Smith is a professor of economics at University of Waterloo. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many […]

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Career Development With Devex

Devex describes itself as the media platform for the global development community. For those in – or seeking entry to – that community Devex is a source of information of growing importance. Devex claims to have an audience of more than one million people engaged in the development sector, to have placed thousands of people […]

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Towards Digital Literacy?

Paul Gilster, in his 1997 book “Digital Literacy” described digital literacy as the use and comprehension of information in the digital age. He also emphasised the importance of digital technologies as an “essential life skill”. Digital literacy is one of the core elements of digital citizenship. Digital literacy includes knowledge, skills, and behaviours involving the effective […]

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Leadership: What We Know – Part 2

The world of job analysis was overturned in the 1970s when McClelland began using a competency focus to understand the requirements of a particular role or job. It wasn’t McClelland’s intention to generalise but the publication of a 1982 book by his colleague, Richard Boyatzis, led to an explosion of interest in managerial competency frameworks. […]

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Leadership: What We Know – Part 1

The British General Election campaign in May 2017 was dominated by discussion about the character of the leadership ‘offer’ being made by party leaders May and Corbyn. May’s commitment was to provide “strong and stable leadership”, whilst Corbyn was widely associated with a more collegiate style of leadership. This projection of a promised brand of […]

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Information sharing, pathos and apologies

It is widely believed that leaders should share information with those they lead. The arguments to support this as ‘best practice’ draw widely on studies of staff engagement. These repeatedly show that, by explaining the connection between employees’ individual jobs and the organisation, leaders and managers can greatly increase employee satisfaction with their day-to-day work. […]

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“Post-truth”: Word Of The Year

The FT reports that Oxford Dictionaries has made “post-truth” its word of the year for 2016, citing a surge in the frequency of its use in the context of Britain’s EU referendum and the USA’s presidential election. Dictionary compilers say that the word was probably first used in 1992 – though then it was used […]

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Distributed Leadership

Leadership teams in any organisation today typically face a volatile and uncertain operating environment and, consequently, need to be both high performing and adaptable. In this new √itas Consult series we will be exploring those characteristics of top teams that lead to high performance and adaptability. In 2011 Roselinde Torres and Nneka Rimmer wrote[1]: “Top teams […]

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Development Planning & Snakes

In this article we explore some factors that may help to explain why some people create and then actively work on development plans and others don’t! In the course of the discussion we will be looking at the role of snakes in shaping our understanding of the topic! Generally, the aims of personal development planning […]

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Coach Selection

Selecting and appointing an executive coach is an important task. It involves the commitment of significant resources (time and money) to meet a given developmental requirement. The relationship between the business leader and the coach will be a vital factor contributing to or degrading the return on the investment made. So, in order to achieve […]

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Third Sector Managerial Coaching

“Coaching managers” are managers who coach their team members in a work context. The person being coached is sometimes referred to as the coachee. Effective coaching, according to Hunt and Weintraub, ‘is much more powerful and useful than merely providing feedback to someone with a performance problem’ (2002:2). Yet the role of the coaching manager is, […]

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What Should Leaders Do To Build Talent Quality & Depth?

Why do some companies always seem to have more than their fair share of talent? Why do these same companies seem to build better talent faster? Recently Marc Effron, President of The Talent Strategy Group and Jim Shanley, President of The Shanley Group wrote up their* answers to these two critical questions. Their combined experience, […]

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The Rise Of Badges

Many people have gained a formal academic or professional qualification of some sort during their lives. But informal skills acquisition doesn’t usually attract proper recognition. This is why ‘badges’ to accredit this kind of learning are gaining in popularity. Traditionally seen as indicators of quality, badges are generally used to demonstrate a person’s affiliation with […]

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“Incidental” Learning

As the Open University Institute of Educational Technology has recently reminded us, we live in an age of rich information. Sometimes the sheer quantity may become overwhelming! However, with unprecedented amounts of knowledge available to us at the touch of a button, we are provided with unlimited opportunities to learn just by going about our […]

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Planning Your First Three Months In A New Role

Congratulations on the new role! This posting outlines our criteria for a quality new role transition plan. (We draw from “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins: a recommended read). In this book Michael Watkins sets out five fundamental propositions: 1. Transition failures happen when new leaders either misunderstand the essential demands of the situation or […]

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Engagement And Performance

Do you manage or lead a team? Do you know – and use! – the two simple questions that engage people in your team? No? If you don’t, then I highly recommend a recent short, podcast from “The Look & Sound of Leadership”. It’s on “Engagement & Performance” and you will find it by clicking […]

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Tools For Talent Assessment

Research indicates that the most reliable approaches to the assessment of people use a variety of methods to learn about competences and potential derailers. When you use a range of complementary methods to assess leadership potential (for example), you are  better placed to come to some working hypotheses about potential, how to target development and […]

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Talent Assessment

The objective of a talent assessment process is to reach a conclusion about each potential member of the talent pool in the following terms. Are they: Ready Now for their next role Will they be Ready Soon for their next role, typically meaning in two/three years Will they be Ready in the Future, typically in around […]

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Flight Risk In Changing Times

During times of significant organisational change the group of staff that employers most fear losing are the highest performing, high potentials that have been earmarked for accelerated succession. (The research evidence supporting this is available and reliable but I will not repeat it here). Organisations that are sensitive to the dangers of arriving at the […]

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What Is Talent? What Can Be Learnt Through An MBA?

The term talent (Latin: talentum, from Ancient Greek: τάλαντον, talanton ‘scale, balance, sum’) was one of several ancient units of mass dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Biblical times, starting out as measure of weight, then becoming a unit of money, and later meaning a person’s value or natural abilities (Michaels, et al.,, 2001). […]

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Develop Your Career With Branding Practices

Brand differentiation is usually taken to mean ‘setting your product apart from its competitors as a basis for preference’. In career development it is certainly useful to know about overall leadership strengths and weaknesses as this influences the access the individual has to career opportunities. However, at leadership level access to career opportunities may be […]

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Avoiding the “Contribution Deficit”

Succession management has always belonged on the Board’s agenda. Today’s leader shoulders a great responsibility for identifying and raising successors. Yet succession planning can appear, because it shapes the organisation’s mid-term future, to be a little ethereal. Just how wrong that view really is can be underscored by a rapid scan of the four year […]

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The Risks of Not Managing Talent

The unwanted loss of even one leader can be costly, given that 46% of replacements fail within 18 months (according to a study by Leadership IQ) and, among senior ranks, the cost of this failure to the organisation can exceed twenty times salary. Imagine that cost being multiplied by your annual churn rate for managers. […]